Radha Mitchell

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Radha Mitchell
Mitchell in 2012
Radha Rani Amber Indigo Ananda Mitchell

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Alma materSwinburne University of Technology (BA)
Years active1988–present

Radha Rani Amber Indigo Ananda Mitchell is an Australian actress. She began her career on television—including a regular role as Catherine O'Brien in the Australian soap opera Neighbours between 1996 and 1997—before transitioning to working in Hollywood. She is known for her work in the action and thriller genres and is the recipient of an FCCA Award, as well as nominations for three Fangoria Chainsaw Awards, an AFI Award, and a Sceeen Actors Guild Award.

Mitchell's other credits include supporting and leading roles in films such as High Art (1998), Pitch Black (2000), Phone Booth (2002), Man on Fire, Finding Neverland, Melinda and Melinda (all 2004), Mozart and the Whale (2005), Silent Hill (2006), Rogue (2007), Surrogates, The Waiting City (both 2009), The Crazies (2010), Olympus Has Fallen (2013) and its sequel (2016), The Darkness (2016), The Shack (2017), Celeste (2018), and Blueback (2022).

Early life[edit]

Mitchell's first name, Radha (Sanskrit: राधा), is the name of a Hindu goddess. Two other parts of her name—Rani (रानी, "queen") and Ananda (आनन्द, "joy")—also have Sanskrit origins.[citation needed] She credits her name as being a result of her mother's experiences in India during the 1970s and her fascination with Indian philosophies.[1] She grew up just around the corner from the Como Centre, on Chapel Street, where her mother ran a shop.[2] Mitchell attended St Michael's Grammar School in St Kilda. Her first credited screen role was that of an eleven-year-old girl from the Australian bush sent to live with her grandmother, on the ABC TV children's television series Sugar and Spice, which was broadcast between 1988 and 1989.[3] Her experience in the series, along with the drama course she took at St Michael's, sparked her interest in acting.[2] She then enrolled at Swinburne University of Technology, with the idea of becoming a psychologist. "I thought it was going to be group therapy, that we would go in there and talk about life and people and stuff like that. But it was all rats and stats. I didn't last beyond the first year." Instead, she obtained her Bachelor of Arts in literature and media studies.[2]



Mitchell played a recurring character in the sitcom All Together Now (1992–1993) and guest-starred in Phoenix (1993), Law of the Land (1993) and Blue Heelers (1994–96). After obtaining a ten-episode arc as a parachute instructor in Neighbours in 1994, Mitchell returned to play the regular role of Catherine O'Brien, a strong-minded and opinionated student, from 1996 to 1997.[4] The series brought the actress to a wider exposure from audiences.

Mitchell quickly "established herself as a versatile and accomplished fixture on the moody art-house flick circuit". As noted by The Guardian, she launched "her assault on the indie scene by 'cornering the market on the lesbian ingenue'". Her film debut came in the role of a gay University of Melbourne film student in the romantic comedy Love and Other Catastrophes (1996), which grossed US$1.6 million at the Australian box office.[5] It was her next project, Lisa Cholodenko's Independent Spirit Award winning independent drama High Art (1998), alongside Ally Sheedy, that gave Mitchell her first impression on American audiences. She was acclaimed for her performance of a young female intern at a magazine company who becomes involved with a drug-addicted lesbian photographer. Roger Ebert wrote that "High Art is so perceptive and mature it makes similar films seem flippant. The performances are on just the right note, scene after scene, for what needs to be done ...".[6] IndieWire listed it as #7 of "The 15 Greatest Lesbian Movies of All Time",[7] while Autostraddle listed it as #31 of "100 Best Lesbian Movies Of All Time" in 2015.[8] She played one half of a house sitting couple in the psychological drama Cleopatra's Second Husband (also 1998).

In 1999, Mitchell starred as the former girlfriend of a lesbian make-up artist in the short drama Sleeping Beauties and as the pampered, bratty girlfriend of a champion rugby player in the drama Kick. While Sleeping Beauties premiered at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival and went on to play at over thirty film festivals,[9][10] Kick had a brief cinema screening in Europe before it was released on DVD.[11]


Mitchell was cast as Carolyn Fry, a docking pilot, in the science fiction horror film Pitch Black (2000), opposite Vin Diesel. She found the experience of acting in a studio film "physically challenging", but was eager to take on the role, explaining: "Well, it's an interesting script, great character, shot in Australia, get to go home, you know, a whole range of reasons. And because I guess it's not something I would often have the opportunity to do; it's a genre piece and I felt it was an opportunity to learn".[12] Despite mixed reviews from critics, the film was a sleeper hit, grossing over US$53 million worldwide and developing its own cult following. In 2000, she also starred as an expecting mother in the psychological drama Everything Put Together, which was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, and as the love interest of a lawyer in the romantic comedy Cowboys and Angels.

In 2001, Mitchell played a woman giving monologues to camera in the drama Ten Tiny Love Stories, a diner waitress in the comedy Nobody's Baby and the owner of a remote roadside diner in the thriller When Strangers Appear. Her next film release was the crime drama Dead Heat (2002), in which she played the wife of a police officer. Joel Schumacher's thriller Phone Booth (2003), opposite Colin Farrell, featured her as the wife of a young arrogant publicist who becomes a victim of a mysterious caller who threatens to harm him. It was a critical and commercial success, grossing US$97.8 million worldwide.[13] She starred as the first woman to sail around the world solo in the horror film Visitors (also 2003).

Her three 2004 film releases —Man on Fire (2004), with Denzel Washington, the Academy Award–winning Finding Neverland, with Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet, and Woody Allen's Melinda and Melinda— were well received by critics and successful at the box office. In Man on Fire, she played the mother of a nine-year-old abducted in Mexico City and what Houston Chronicle described as an "American trophy wife with a Southern accent that seems to come and go".[14] Finding Neverland featured her as Mary Ansell, the wife of novelist J.M. Barrie, and earned her, as a member of the cast, a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for Outstanding Cast in a Motion Picture. Melinda and Melinda starred her as the title role of a woman attempting to straighten out her life. Man on Fire made US$130.2 million,[15] Finding Neverland $116.8 million,[16] and Melinda and Melinda US$20 million in limited markets.[17]

In Mozart and the Whale (2005), a romantic dramedy with Josh Hartnett, Mitchell played a woman with Asperger syndrome. In its review for the film, Variety noted: "Mitchell socks over her role as a dynamo whose emotional insecurity is buried under a fabulously attractive exterior; by virtue of her character's assertiveness, she dominates the screen".[18]

In Silent Hill (2006), the adaptation of Konami's 1999 video game of the same name, Mitchell portrayed Rose Da Silva, the desperate mother who seeks a cure for her daughter Sharon's nightmarish sleepwalking by taking her to the town of Silent Hill. James Berardinelli noted: "Radha Mitchell normally does smaller movies, but her experience from Pitch Black serves her well here; she's credible as a mother who will fight off hoards of dead to save her daughter".[19] Despite mixed reviews, the film opened with top numbers at the box office, with over US$20 million in sales.[20] It eventually made US$97 million globally.[21] In 2006, she also appeared as the adoring wife of a nuclear reprocessing facility worker in the HBO film Pu-239.

In 2007, Mitchell starred in Robert Benton's romantic dramedy Feast of Love, opposite Greg Kinnear and Morgan Freeman, as a successful realtor carrying on an affair with a married man,[22][23] and in the horror film Rogue, with Michael Vartan, as a wildlife researcher fighting a giant, man-eating crocodile. Both Feast of Love and Rogue made about US$5 million worldwide.[24][25] In 2008, she took on the roles of a mother to a mute seven-year old in the dramedy Henry Poole Is Here opposite Luke Wilson, and that of a courageous nurse assisting British journalist George Hogg in the historical war drama The Children of Huang Shi opposite Jonathan Rhys-Meyers. In 2009, she played a woman kidnapped by the Russian mafia in the heist action film Thick as Thieves, which reunited her with Morgan Freeman, and in the sci-fi thriller Surrogates, also as an FBI agent, a film adaptation of the comic book of the same name co-starring Bruce Willis.[26]


The horror film The Crazies (2010) featured Mitchell as a pregnant woman and one of the residents of a fictional Iowa town that becomes afflicted by a military virus that turns those infected into violent killers. The film garnered positive reviews and, with a worldwide gross of US$55 million, it emerged as a moderate commercial success.[27] In 2010, she also starred as a successful, self-starting lawyer and one half of a couple trying to adopt a child in Claire McCarthy's drama The Waiting City, which was acclaimed by critics. The Sydney Morning Herald asserted: "Featuring standout performances from Mitchell and Edgerton, this is an example of what Australian films can and should be, thought provoking, entertaining and stunning to behold".[28] For her role, Mitchell won as Best Actress at the Antipodes Film Festival in Saint Tropez, France.[29]

Mitchell reprised her role of Rose Da Silva in Silent Hill: Revelation (2012), which was a moderate box office success, grossing over US$56 million worldwide, but was heavily panned by critics and audiences,[30] Her next seven screen projects —the films Big Sur, Olympus Has Fallen, Evidence, The Frozen Ground, Standing Up, Expecting and the ABC drama series Red Widow— were released throughout 2013.[31][32] Olympus Has Fallen, in which she portrayed a nurse and the wife of a Secret Service agent, proved to be her most successful film of the year, grossing US$170.3 million globally,[33] and spawning a film trilogy. In Fugly! (2014), a comedy written by and starring John Leguizamo, Mitchell played a neurotic uptown girl and the love interest of an unattractive man rejected by women because of his donkey-faced appearance.

In Looking for Grace (2015), a drama screened in the main competition section of the 72nd Venice International Film Festival,[34][35] Mitchell starred as a mother hiring a private detective in an attempt to find her missing daughter. Her comic portrayal was hailed as "amusingly tetchy" by Variety[36] and "well-tuned" by Time Out Sydney.[37]

In 2016, Mitchell returned to the Fallen trilogy in London Has Fallen, which made US$205.9 million,[38] and took on the roles of the matriarch of a family who brings home a supernatural force from the Grand Canyon in the horror film The Darkness, an obstetrician living in the remote Shetland Islands in the thriller Sacrifice, as well as that of one half of a couple in the short film Whoever Was Using This Bed. The Christian drama The Shack (2017), which featured Mitchell as a devoutly religious wife, opened with US$16.1 million in North America, finishing above expectations.[39] It eventually earned US$96.9 million worldwide.[40]



Year Film Role Notes
1996 Love and Other Catastrophes Danni
1998 High Art Syd
Cleopatra's Second Husband Sophie
1999 Sleeping Beauties Cindy Short film
Kick Tamara Spencer
2000 Everything Put Together Angie
Pitch Black Carolyn Fry
Cowboys and Angels Jo-Jo
2001 Ten Tiny Love Stories Herself
Nobody's Baby Shauna Louise
When Strangers Appear Beth
2002 Dead Heat Charlotte LaMarr
Phone Booth Kelly Shepard
Four Reasons Girl
2003 Visitors Georgia Perry
2004 Man on Fire Lisa Martin Ramos
Finding Neverland Mary Ansell Barrie
Melinda and Melinda Melinda
2005 Mozart and the Whale Isabelle Sorenson
2006 Silent Hill Rose Da Silva
Pu-239 Marina
2007 Feast of Love Diana Croce
Rogue Kate Ryan
2008 Henry Poole Is Here Dawn Stupek
The Children of Huang Shi Lee Pearson
What We Take from Each Other Thief of Hearts Short film
2009 Thick as Thieves Alexandra Korolenko
Surrogates Agent Jennifer Peters
The Waiting City Fiona Simmons
2010 The Crazies Judy Dutton
2012 Silent Hill: Revelation Rose Da Silva
Big Sur Carolyn Cassady
2013 Olympus Has Fallen Leah Banning [41]
The Frozen Ground Allie Halcombe
Standing Up Meg Golden
Expecting Lizzie
Evidence Detective Burquez
2014 Bird People Elisabeth Newman
Fugly! Lara Perry
2015 Looking for Grace Denise
2016 London Has Fallen Leah Banning [42]
The Darkness Bronny Taylor
Whoever Was Using This Bed Iris Short film
Sacrifice Tora Hamilton
2017 The Shack Nan
2018 Swinging Safari Jo Jones
Celeste Celeste
The World Without You Lily
2020 The Homewrecker Radha
Dreamkatcher Gail
2 Hearts Leslie
Run Hide Fight Jennifer Hull
2022 Girl at the Window Barbara Poynton
Asking for It Sal
Devil's Workshop Eliza
Blueback Dora Jackson


Year Title Role Notes
1988–1989 Sugar and Spice Pixie Robinson Lead role (20 episodes)
1992–1993 All Together Now Jodie Recurring role (6 episodes)
1993 Phoenix Joanna Episode: "Deal or Pay"
1993 R.F.D.S. aka 'The Flying Doctors Recurring Guest role: Tracey TV series, 2 episodes
1994, 1996 Blue Heelers Sally-Anne / Nerida Davidson 3 episodes
1994, 1996–97 Neighbours Cassandra Rushmore / Catherine O'Brien Guest role (6 episodes) / Regular role (63 episodes)
1995 Halifax f.p. Sarah Episode/film: "My Lovely Girl"
1998 The Chosen Sarah Gordon Television film
2001 Uprising Mira Fuchrer NBC TV film
2013 Red Widow Marta Walraven Lead role (8 episodes)
2017 Longmire Alex Graham Episode: "Burned Up My Tears"
2018 The Romanoffs Victoria Hayward Episode: "Panorama"
2020 Law & Order: SVU Luna Prasada Episode: "Swimming with the Sharks"

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Film Result
2001 Fangoria Chainsaw Award Best Actress Pitch Black Nominated
2004 Fangoria Chainsaw Award Best Actress Visitors Nominated
Film Critics Circle of Australia Award Best Actor—Female Nominated
2005 Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture Finding Neverland Nominated
2006 Fangoria Chainsaw Award Chick You Don't Wanna Mess With (Best Heroine) Silent Hill Nominated
Australian Film Institute Best Actress Nominated
2010 Antipodes Film Festival Award Best Actress The Waiting City Won
2011 Film Critics Circle of Australia Award Best Actress Nominated
Inside Film Award Best Actress Nominated

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "I feel a sense of home in India: Mitchell". Times of India. 22 May 2010. Retrieved 1 July 2016.
  2. ^ a b c "Radha perplexing". The Age. 8 August 2004.
  3. ^ "Radha Mitchell- Biography". Yahoo!. Retrieved 22 March 2013.
  4. ^ Gray, Marianne (25 March 2005). "Film: Interview – Radha Mitchell: Blizzard from Oz; After Nicole Kidman and Cate Blanchett, here comes Aussie Radha Mitchell". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 30 March 2016.
  5. ^ "Film Victoria - Australian Films at the Australian Box Office" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 18 February 2011. Retrieved 21 November 2010.
  6. ^ Ebert, Roger (3 July 1998). "High Art". RogerEbert.com. Chicago Sun-Times.
  7. ^ Dry, Jude (8 May 2017). "15 Greatest Lesbian Movies of All Time". IndieWire. Retrieved 11 April 2018.
  8. ^ "The 100 Best Lesbian Movies Of All Time". Autostraddle. 11 August 2015. Retrieved 11 June 2017.
  9. ^ "But I'm a Cheerleader Cast & Crew". But I'm a Cheerleader. Retrieved 8 May 2007.
  10. ^ Glucksman, Mary (1999). "Summer 1999: Production Update". Filmmaker. Retrieved 12 August 2007.
  11. ^ "Tackling Romeo set for a new life but we should never forget the performance of Australia's great dancer, Russell Page". Valerie Lawson's Dancelines. 1 March 2015.
  12. ^ "Urban Cinefile MITCHELL, RADHA: PITCH BLACK". www.urbancinefile.com.au.
  13. ^ "Phone Booth". Box Office Mojo.
  14. ^ Harrison, Eric. "Man on Fire." Houston Chronicle. April 23, 2004. Retrieved on May 15, 2014.
  15. ^ "Year End 2004 Top Money Makers". Variety. 31 December 2004.
  16. ^ "Finding Neverland". Box Office Mojo.
  17. ^ "Melinda and Melinda". Box Office Mojo.
  18. ^ McCarthy, Todd (7 February 2006). "Mozart & The Whale".
  19. ^ "Review: Silent Hill". preview.reelviews.net.
  20. ^ "Radha Mitchell of 'The Crazies' on the Future of 'Silent Hill'". bloody-disgusting.com. 24 February 2010.
  21. ^ "Silent Hill". Box Office Mojo.
  22. ^ "Feast Of Love". mgm.com. 28 September 2007. Retrieved 21 January 2011.
  23. ^ "Feast of Love (2007)". rottentomatoes.com. 28 September 2007. Retrieved 16 November 2012.
  24. ^ "Rogue". Box Office Mojo.
  25. ^ "Feast of Love". Box Office Mojo.
  26. ^ Fleming, Michael; Tatiana Siegel (18 November 2007). "Films halted due to strike". Variety. Archived from the original on 6 January 2009. Retrieved 9 May 2009.
  27. ^ "The Crazies". Box Office Mojo.
  28. ^ Hardie, Giles (15 July 2010). "First class story of third world revelation". The Sydney Morning Herald.
  29. ^ "12th Antipodes Film Festival Saint Tropez 11 – 17 Oct 2010". rivieralife.tv. Archived from the original on 7 January 2012.
  30. ^ "Silent Hill: Revelation (2012)". 26 October 2012 – via www.rottentomatoes.com.
  31. ^ Nellie Andreeva (11 May 2012). "ABC Picks Up To Series '666′, 'Last Resort', 'How To Live', 'Nashville', 'Penoza', 'Neighbours', 'Zero Hour', 'Red Van'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 12 May 2012.
  32. ^ Dominic Patten (7 July 2012). "'Olympus Has Fallen' Adds Radha Mitchell". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 22 March 2013.
  33. ^ "Olympus Has Fallen". Box Office Mojo.
  34. ^ "Venice Film Festival: Lido Lineup Builds Awards Season Buzz – Full List". Deadline. 29 July 2015. Retrieved 29 July 2015.
  35. ^ "Venice Fest Reveals Robust Lineup Featuring Hollywood Stars and International Auteurs". Variety. 29 July 2015. Retrieved 29 July 2015.
  36. ^ Lodge, Guy (3 September 2015). "Venice Film Review: 'Looking for Grace'".
  37. ^ "Welcome to Time Out". Time Out Worldwide.
  38. ^ "London Has Fallen". Box Office Mojo.
  39. ^ "'Logan' Looks To Log Best R-Rated Opening In March With $81M+ Opening; Audiences Love 'Shack'", Deadline Hollywood, retrieved 4 March 2017
  40. ^ "The Shack". Box Office Mojo.
  41. ^ Patten, Dominic (7 July 2012). "'Olympus Has Fallen' Adds Radha Mitchell". Deadline. Retrieved 12 April 2022.
  42. ^ "Radha Mitchell on Hollywood's frustrating portrayal of gender roles". The National. 2 March 2016. Retrieved 12 April 2022.

External links[edit]